Amid political fractures, a global economic crisis and rising social tensions, this term of the United Progressive Alliance government is coming to an end. To many, there has been little to distinguish this period in Indian history, and indeed if anything it is marked by a lack of change. Yet the UPA period has been one of tensions and contradictions, a period that threw up in sharp relief some of the developing tendencies of the Indian polity. In the few days left before we deal with the results of the elections, it may be time to consider these tendencies. The hypothesis that emerges is both hopeful and disturbing: India’s ruling class appears to be heading towards an intensifying hegemonic crisis.
What does one mean by this? Hegemony, in Gramsci’s sense of the term, is the maintenance of ruling class power through a combination of coercion with the consent of the oppressed, won by a “concrete coordination” of the material interests of the ruling class bloc with other social sections. At its most basic, a hegemonic crisis is thus a crisis of legitimacy. But it is also more than that. Hegemony is not a one way flow between rulers and ruled, a deceit perpetrated by the one upon the other. If we accept the proposition that the capitalist state is a social relation, one function of which is to organise the ruling bloc of class fractions (Poulantzas 1978), hegemony provides the ideological facet of this relationship, serving to discursively define social power. While legitimating the power of the ruling bloc of class fractions, the hegemonic ideology also inherently defines for that ruling bloc who its legitimate members are, and provides an “explanation” for how it achieved that power. Second, by defining the parameters of thinking about society, it shapes the perspective and limits within which both the oppressed and the ruling class fractions approach the polity. What this means is that a hegemonic crisis produces not only a crisis of legitimacy; it also produces an increasing incoherence of the ruling bloc and its fractions, as the ideological frame that identified their common sociopolitical interests ceases to “work.” The net result is a disarticulation of social power, as both the legitimacy and the coherence of the dominant bloc deteriorate. My argument here is that we are witnessing a shift in this direction in India today, and the resulting conjuncture presents both dangers and possibilities for left and democratic forces.
The 2004 Elections
An analytical starting point for such an approach is the 2004 elections that brought the UPA to power. The ‘shock’ defeat of the NDA were both less and more significant than they were often believed to be at the time. It was less significant than it was made out to be by those who saw these elections as a decisive rejection of the NDA. The received “common sense” about this election, weaker now in light of the UPA’s pronounced neoliberal inclinations, was that this was a vote against “reforms” and, to a lesser extent, Hindutva. Indeed, for several months afterwards, the English media saw repeated and increasingly ludicrous attempts to defend neoliberal reforms against this perceived setback (“a revolution of rising expectations”, “it’s all anti-incumbency”, etc.).
Yet in fact the 2004 election results were by no means a ‘wave’ against the NDA. Though widespread and deep-rooted discontent existed, there was no political formation in the elections that focused such discontent beyond the regional and the issue-specific. The confusing result is best summarised by Yogendra Yadav: “The case that this was a mandate against policies of economic reforms is an overstatement… having said this, it is equally necessary to realise that… if this election could [have been] a referendum on economic reforms, the policies of liberalisation would have been rejected” (Yadav 2004). Nor was there any sense of an overwhelming defeat for the social bloc that had supported the NDA, a combination of upper castes and upper classes (Yadav 1999).
This reality, and the intensity with which the UPA has embraced neoliberalism, has led many on the left to argue that there was no significant difference between the two periods. But it is here that we underestimate the importance of 2004. For the consequence of an electoral result need not only be in direct shifts of political power; it can also operate at the discursive, ideological and political levels. In this sense, the elections of that year did indeed have a significant impact.
For a decisive defeat was indeed suffered in that year – not by the ruling coalition, but by the ruling class intelligentsia, and in particular by the key ideological forum of the “new India”: the English media. The defensiveness of neoliberals in the English media was not merely an overreaction. This intelligentsia had steadfastly predicted the return of the NDA and, in a symbiotic partnership with the bureaucracy and the party leadership, crafted the understanding whose preeminent symbol was “India Shining.” 2004 not only showed that this ideology had failed to secure hegemonic or even dominant status in Indian politics; it also demonstrated a more fundamental failure. Indeed, 2004 was both a transition for elements of the ruling bloc and a symptom of a deeper failure.
Hegemony and the Indian Neoliberal Project
In itself the media’s behaviour may seem nothing surprising. The alienation of the English media from India’s polity, and the solipsism and blindness of the elite it speaks for, are hardly anything new. Indeed, if anything 2004 was only a further exposé of what was already increasingly obvious.
But in a way this was precisely the reason why it was significant, for it hence had direct implications for the role that the English media has played in the rise of Indian neoliberalism. To discuss this role, it is first important to note that, in the absence of a political/institutional formation that has generated and defined Indian neoliberalism as an ideology (in contrast to Thatcherism, Reaganism, or other such forces), the effort to push neoliberalism as a political project in India has taken place in a far more diffuse and complex manner (1) . The functions that such a formation would play have, rather than being concentrated and organised, instead been dispersed to multiple centres of power in the Indian political system.
For instance, one such function – the individual policy changes and “reforms” that are required – has worked not through ‘public opinion’ or the legislative system, but instead through back door operations primarily focused in the bureaucracy (and, in cases that do require legislation, through “consensus” achieved by cross-party action through neoliberal elements without an organised formation). This was described by Rob Jenkins (1999) as a process of “reforms by stealth.”
A second such role, increasingly appropriate in a time of shifts towards accumulation by dispossession (for which see below), has been played by the judiciary. This has been the elimination and dilution of, on the one hand, legal protections for labour and criminal procedure, and, on the other, the strengthening and widening of state coercive powers over resources (forests and urban lands being the two most striking examples).
But a third – and in our context most important – function has been the evolution and projection of a hegemonic ideological project for neoliberalism in the Indian context. And it is here, arguably, that the English media has played a very different role than merely being an arena for ideological debate. Instead, the English media – with some exceptions of course – have largely begun to behave like the direct ideological propagators of a distinctly neoliberal political project. Delusional reporting about economic growth and general prosperity, contemptuous dismissal of other points of view, and a strong shift towards “campaign-style” reporting are among the indicators of this. To choose three examples, it is now difficult to read “news” in theIndian Express, the Times of India or the Hindustan Times on any topical issue that is not brazenly pushing an agenda – and it is rare for that agenda to be anything other than the “national good” as defined by the neoliberal approach.
In this context one is reminded of Gramsci’s (1971) remark “the intellectual General Staff of the organic party often does not belong to any of these fractions, but operates as if it were a decisive force standing on its own… [one can think of] a newspaper too (or group of newspapers), a review… as a “party” or a “fraction of a party” or a “function of a particular party.”” Indeed, since 1991, far more than any political formation, the projection of the policy priorities of neoliberalism has taken place through this function of the English media.
Yet, over the period of the NDA regime, this diffuseness of the Indian neoliberal project began to coalesce around a deepening, albeit temporary, alliance with Hindutva and the Sangh Parivar. The synthesis of neoliberalism and Hindutva promoted by the NDA was articulated, adjusted and defined by the English media, operating as “organic intellectuals” of the ruling bloc (2) . The ‘prediction’ of the NDA’s victory was both a ‘factual’ and a normative one; not only should the NDA win, it obviously would win because that was the natural outcome. Finally, “India Shining” was a remarkable melding of what was essentially a media strategy with an ideological vision that had already been articulated by the English media ad nauseam in the preceding years.
The Implications of Political Failure
In playing this role, however, the English media has not been serving as the intellectual “General Staff” or organic intellectuals of India’s entire bourgeoisie. Rather, as the standard bearer of the neoliberal project, it has functioned as the intellectual vanguard of finance capital, the fraction that has driven the neoliberal agenda and that is, in that sense, largely the dominant fraction in India’s ruling bloc.
But if one views the English media in this manner, the 2004 election defeat becomes not just an error in prediction, but a failure of an attempted political project. The fact that it was such a limited and partial defeat only increases the complexity of its implications. While there was no clarity on who or what actually led to the defeat, what was clear was that the hegemonic project being attempted had failed to explain India’s political reality.
It is here that one returns to the function of hegemony in terms of organising the ruling class bloc. The function of the dominant bloc’s intellectuals is not only to legitimise that dominance – it is to construct a vision of society that allows that bloc to understand its own dominance and to maintain it. What 2004 showed was that the ruling intelligentsia had not understood the sources of political power in Indian society. The result of the 2004 elections was thus a gap between the reality of continuing, if shaken, power for the dominant class fraction, and the inability of that power to devise an intellectual argument for itself.
The United “Progressive” Alliance: One Side of an Attempted Solution
One striking result of this disarticulation was to give the new UPA government a mild case of schizophrenia. The neoliberals retained and even strengthened their hold on traditional posts. Yet, simultaneously, the government initiated the process of preparing the CMP, which in turn became the basis for two new institutions: the National Advisory Council and the coordination committee with the Left parties. Neither the CMP process nor these new institutions reflected any major organised social interests; their direct political backing came only from the Left, whose support was a necessary but not sufficient condition for their activities. The importance of these institutions was not political, in the sense of state power, as much asintellectual. They were born out of the contradictory need to generate a new hegemonic project while simultaneously not affecting the interests of the ruling bloc and its dominant fraction, which after all remained in power (i.e. “reforms with a human face”). This institutional confusion in turn was the most apparent manifestation of the contradictions within the UPA’s stumbling attempts towards a new ideological project.
It was this space that generated both the possibilities and the limitations of the few progressive developments that did take place during the UPA’s regime. Two of the UPA’s flagship legislations are particularly good examples of the contradictions of this situation: the Employment Guarantee Act and the Forest Rights Act. Both laws challenged existing systems of state control in a significant manner, in the one case concerning finances and in the other on natural resources. Moreover, both laws were premised not on a process driven by state action, but one that both presumed and sought to generate popular action – in one case in the form of “employment on demand” and in the other through a gram sabha-based rights recognition process. Finally, both laws were pushed by informal alliances of local people’s movements, progressive elements in the Congress and other parties, and the Left.
The threat that this posed to the ‘old’ neoliberal ideology was apparent from the uncannily similar opposition that these laws faced. In both cases an alliance formed against the Bills consisting of sections of the bureaucracy (the Ministry of Finance for the EGA and the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the forest rights bill), part of the English media and a handful of “experts” (some economists and wildlife conservationists respectively). The bureaucacies provided the basic argument, the experts justified it with theories varying from the legitimate to the totally irrational, and the press utilized both to mount a campaign against these measures. Further, the arguments themselves were almost identical. Both legislations were described as attempting “distribution of national resources” in “handouts” to “the poor” for the sake of “vote banks.” Such “populist measures” would never bring “welfare” or “development” to the “beneficiaries”, as they would be hijacked by “corruption”. These measures would only keep people in “poverty” or “in the forests” instead of granting them a new and productive life (which in turn could only result from “growth”). In the process, the “nation” would be “immeasurably damaged.”
The anxiety of a dominant social group facing a process of democratisation, however limited, is apparent in these arguments; and it was clear that in both cases, it was not the laws themselves so much as the possibility of democratisation that was seen as the threat. Yet, these two legislations – both of which would have been essentially inconceivable under the NDA – survived, albeit in a mangled form, and were eventually passed (to the point where, ironically, the very same EGA is now being hailed as a “stimulus” for tackling the financial crisis). Why did this happen?
One can speculate that the reason was precisely the peculiar ‘radicalism’ of these legislations. First, as noted above, neither represented a powerful or organised political interest, and were driven in large measure through loose, informal coalitions exploiting the space created by the UPA’s “hegemonic vacuum”. Second, while both did involve degrees of systemic change, they did so in a fashion that did not directly and obviously threaten the short-term interests of the ruling class fractions. Instead, as laws that depended entirely on popular mobilisation, they opened political spaces that could be used by democratic forces, but which dominant elements could also try to block (which is precisely what is happening with both laws at the present moment). These laws are thus less a measure of resource redistribution than they are an effort to change the locus of resource decision-making.
Yet such changes themselves are, in the long term, a threat to the neoliberal project – particularly in the Indian context, for reasons explored below. Those who could visualise, conceptualise and coordinate the response to such a long term threat – the organic intellectuals of the ruling bloc – did in fact attempt to do so, along with the more far-sighted members of the ruling class. But for the ruling bloc to fully respond to such challenges required a shared ideological approach, which was precisely what was in question. As a result, when no major fraction of the ruling bloc was directly threatened and all saw themselves as able to deflect these challenges, a constrained space opened for political action.
A similar pattern repeated itself in most of the other efforts by social forces to produce progressive results during the early years of the UPA. One can see the sharp contrast when such efforts did directly confront interests of ruling fractions – the alacrity with which the entire notion of private sector reservations was dispatched being a good example.
But this attempt at a “human face” was only part of the response to 2004, the part that indicated a transition in the function of the ruling intelligentsia. The other part, which built on tendencies that predated 2004, will arguably have a far greater impact.
The Other Response: The Use of Force
While 2004 is a convenient inflexion point for analytical purposes, it is clear that these processes did not begin in 2004. Indeed, as early as the late 1990’s, it was already clear that the neoliberal political offensive was finding it increasingly difficult to devise a concrete coordination of interests that would allow its dominant fraction – finance capital – the full transformation of the Indian polity that it desires. This ultimately reflects the nature of India’s political economy, and more proximately is a consequence of the lack of an organised institutional-political force (a party in the broad sense) pushing the Indian neoliberal project (3) . By this period, the financial press had begun to lament the inability to push through the remaining “big ticket” reforms, such as:
• Dismantling of labour laws;
• Withdrawal of food subsidies and withdrawal of the PDS;
• Privatisation of all major public sector enterprises;
• Withdrawal of fertiliser and other subsidies to agriculture;
• Complete liberalisation of FDI, particularly in sectors such as retail.
In each of these areas, utinroads, dilutions and sabotage have occurred, but the wholesale destruction of these regulatory and institutional mechanisms has not been achieved. Around this period, then, a shift began to occur away from reforms aimed at deregulation and towards reforms aimed at expropriation.
What does one mean by this? Since the late 1990’s, the major new initiatives in Indian neoliberalism have been in the area of what David Harvey (2003) described as “accumulation by dispossession” (or “accumulation by encroachment”, in Prabhat Patnaik’s (2005) terminology). This process, integral to capitalism at all times, is accentuated under neoliberalism, where both State assets and the assets of small commodity producers (such as peasants and artisans) become far easier to seize as a result of deflationary and ‘rollback’ policies. A classic instance is the huge increase in mining activity. As of 2006, the Orissa government had already signed two lakh crore worth of mining projects in the two years since the BJD-BJP regime’s current term began. As of 2007, the Jharkhand government had over 54 Memoranda of Understanding for steel and power plants pending. Meanwhile, over five lakh hectares of forest land – at a rate three times higher than the preceding two decades – were diverted for various projects between 2001 and 2006, with much of this land being transferred for free to private companies. The number of industrial projects requiring state acquisition of land or resources has rapidly increased. Meanwhile, in addition to such direct use of state coercion, the collapse of credit for agriculture became a parallel process of intensifying extraction of resources.
In a sense this “strategy” has succeeded: between 2000 and 2005-2006, the share of private corporate savings in total capital formation doubled from 6% to 12%, and exceeded that of household savings for the first time (Chandrasekhar and Ghosh 2007). In the same period, corporate surplus rose from 12% to 16% of national income. Meanwhile, the results of a Business World (2008) survey are indicative: prior to the financial crisis, seven of India’s ten most profitable companies were either real estate or mining corporations.
The corporations that engaged in and promoted such strategies – Reliance, the Tatas, the Adanis etc. come to mind – are in many ways precisely the dominant class fraction in Indian capital. By adopting such an approach, they had already begun a process of increasingly emphasising the moment of coercion within hegemony while de-emphasising the moment of consent. Reflecting the inability to produce a political project that would concretely coordinate their desire for super-profits with mass consent, they instead began to attempt to bypass resistance at the national and political level and to seek “short cuts” to more direct expropriation.
For instance, the most glaring example – state land acquisition for big projects – is a classic avenue of expropriation that does not require long term political support. Acquisition of this kind can operate on a short term, region-specific basis that does not require policy changes. Moreover, the subjects that most directly pertain to such strategies – land, water, forests, law and order, and so on – all either come only or mostly (forests) under the State governments. This, combined with the impoverishment of the States as a result of the Finance Commission awards and similar mechanisms, makes it much easier for corporates to simply demand and receive windfall profits through state action.
Prior to 2004, this strategy was used in a relatively ad hoc manner on specific projects, even as its overall impact was increasingly visible in the crisis in agriculture. But the 2004 “defeat” of the neoliberal intelligentsia was a further reflection of the weakness of the neoliberal political project and, therefore, presumably increased the “attractiveness” of coercive expropriation.
Indeed, even as an attempt was being made to shape “reforms with a human face” under the UPA and the political schizophrenia noted above was underway, a simultaneous shift in the opposite direction was also taking place. The best indicator of this shift, and arguably the most politically significant “innovation” of this regime, is the 2005 SEZ Act. A close reading of this Act and Rules clearly indicates that these zones have little to do with exports and nothing to do with employment generation (their two most commonly cited justifications). Rather, they are an extreme version of the Chinese SEZ concept, wherein the entire state machinery of a territory is effectively handed over to private capital. Indeed, the only effective requirement for setting up an SEZ in India is possession (or even the possibility of possession, with state assistance) of sufficient land area. Within this area, in a brazen and unconstitutional manner, the law effectively creates an administrative machinery where the “Developer” corporate and a few agencies of the Central government are the sole governing, regulatory and economic authorities. Everything from public infrastructure to municipal governance is left to these institutions. The result is an ideal space for coercive, extractive accumulation by big capital with access to speculative finance, and indeed the Act’s minimum land area stipulations are a particularly crude way of distinguishing between such capitals and smaller ones (much to the chagrin of smaller IT companies, for instance). The favoured neoliberal ‘solution’ to the resultant conflict is to allow for “market purchase of land”, which not only fails to take into account the reality of land markets in India and does not address speculation through change of land use, but also ignores the fact that the possibilities for coercive accumulation are not limited to initial real estate speculation. The SEZs institutional systems ensure that these would include continued extraction of surplus from workers, smallholders and residents through the Developer’s powers over infrastructure, security and land use, as well as large scale profiteering from subsidies and tax exemptions.
The SEZ Act thus effectively creates a legal and institutional structure for accumulation by dispossession, allowing it to be generalised beyond individual projects and corporates and made into a regime of accumulation accessible to big capital in general. Instead of attempting a neoliberal transformation of the state machinery as a whole, the Act creates a “shortcut” of extremely pro-capital institutions within defined small territories. This is effectively the institutionalisation of accumulation by dispossession as a strategy.
The SEZ Act was the most explicit manifestation of this political approach, but by the second half of the UPA government – from around 2006, for instance – it was clear that this had won the day against new efforts to devise a hegemonic ideology. Symbolised by the de facto dissolution of the NAC, and then later by a brazen embrace of US foreign policy, the dominant fraction of the ruling bloc appeared to have taken a final decision that the use of force and systematic “bypassing” of political institutions was more effective and more worthwhile than attempts at trying to win consent for its actions. This in turn was reflected in the collapse of practically all progressive statements and actions by the UPA. Even as they found the hegemonic fusion of neoliberalism and Hindutva in Gujarat under Narendra Modi to be ideal (symbolised by the sickening endorsement of Modi as the future Prime Minister), the Ambanis, the Mittals, the Tatas and their ilk had clearly decided that, if they cannot have that, immediate gains from robber baron expropriation are preferable to building consent.
Shadows of a Crisis
Yet this ‘choice’ is once again only a reflection of the growing fragility of the hegemonic project of this ruling bloc. For this is a self-interested, short term choice of the dominant fraction, a choice from which even smaller capitals – who cannot so easily utilise structures for accumulation by dispossession, and therefore face unfair competition – will not benefit. As a result, it will both exacerbate tensions within the ruling bloc as well as accelerate the trend towards an overall hegemonic crisis, with its attendant implications for the stability of domination by this fraction. A glaring instance is the SEZ Act’s incredible tax exemptions, which constitute a resource transfer so huge that even ideological neoliberals in the Finance Ministry have found it difficult to stomach.
In the meantime, the global financial crisis is likely to have contradictory impacts. On the one hand it greatly weakens the dominant fraction and its strategy (as indicated by moves to get SEZs denotified). On the other, the neoliberals have sufficiently linked India’s economy to international finance that the crisis has had significant and immediate negative impacts, both directly through rapid declines in export sectors and real estate / construction and indirectly through a sharp decline in international prices, particularly of agricultural produce (Ghosh 2009). This is only likely to produce further discontent and anger, accelerating a sense of hegemonic vacuum.
The shadows of the hegemonic crisis are already reflected in various aspects of the polity. At the formal political level, whereas 2004 was marked by a clear political project (the NDA’s neoliberal-Hindutva synthesis) opposed by diffuse resistance, 2009 is marked by an open acknowledgment by all concerned – including the neoliberal media – that no political force can hope to secure a clear mandate. The fractious shifts within coalitions and resulting ‘instability’ reflect the lack of faith any political formation has in effectively deploying any hegemonic project, new or old.
At the level of popular struggle, the last four years have seen an expansion of new forms of popular action as well as more brutal types of repression. Some struggles, such as those of POSCO and Nandigram, declared de facto ‘liberated zones’, operated and controlled by direct ‘people’s power’ institutions. Indeed it is no accident that three of the largest of such protests – Nandigram, Singur and Lalgarh – have taken place in West Bengal, a state where the hegemonic crisis is perhaps most acute, given the total swing to big capital by the Left Front government and the resulting collapse of space for dissent and resistance. These new forms of protest in turn reflect a lack of faith in more institutional forms of political action and a complete collapse of the legitimacy of the state. They show strong parallels to similar situations in Latin America (such as the Oaxaca Commune), where, too, a hegemonic crisis has resulted from a neoliberal offensive.
The response of the state has also, however, accelerated. Strategies once reserved for “peripheries” in Mizoram and Kashmir, such as state-sponsored militias and strategic hamleting, have found their place in the mainland with Salwa Judum. In Kashmir itself, the Israel-style massacres of protesters in August was on a level unprecedented since the early years of the uprising, and the confrontation all the more remarkable for the decision of the protesters to not engage in violence of any kind. Following the November Mumbai carnage, the UPA has also institutionalised – in the form of the National Investigative Agency and the reincarnated anti-terror laws – a new security infrastructure that will make repression more centralised, and possibly more intense.
Possibilities and Constraints
The fact that tendencies towards a crisis are present does not, of course, make it certain that the crisis will actually occur. What it does make clear, however, is that the Indian polity is in a fluid and complex situation where the boundaries of both conflict and possibility will be wider than before. The polity appears to be moving into a qualitatively new phase, and whatever resolution is eventually achieved, it will be most likely based on a broad reconfiguration.
This situation offers both challenges and possibilities to democratic and left forces. Firstly, the tendency towards coercive action by the state will greatly increase as the resort to force becomes more and more necessary to cover up fractures in hegemony. Secondly, a continued focus on accumulation by dispossession – if perhaps at a slower rate in the short term – will increase the number of people who are physically displaced, expropriated or forced to migrate. Such people have generally been much more difficult for left forces to organise.
Thirdly, the Sangh Parivar, while not capable of immediately offering a hegemonic project at the national level, is better organised, has a larger reach and has a more coherent political project than the scattered and fragmented left forces in the country. It also has the advantage of an inherent strong resonance between its project and the goals of the dominant fraction of the ruling bloc, reflected in the hegemonic alliance operating in Gujarat. Finally, displaced and otherwise mobile but disenfranchised groups have historically been a main target of Sangh organising. If we on the left do not act swiftly, one consequence of this fluid situation may be a rapid expansion and consolidation in the Sangh’s strength.
But this should not blind us to the possibilities that exist in this situation. A hegemonic crisis is at the end of the day a product of the class struggle, a struggle that may not yet be consciously or coherently organised but which is driving the current situation. A hegemonic crisis offers the opportunity to push political positions that would otherwise be automatically excluded by hegemonic understanding. Since the ruling class is no longer “setting the agenda”, we now have the space to move beyond defensive and reactive positions and to offer programmatic changes, even from a position of relative political weakness. To use Gramsci’s terminology, this is a time when the war of position accelerates, even if one is not yet able to convert it into a war of maneuver. Even when one cannot confront the core interests of the ruling bloc, it is possible to occupy spaces and alter discourses more effectively now than perhaps at any time since the 1980’s.
It is not a window we are likely to get often; and it is not one that we can afford to lose.
Shankar Gopalakrishnan is an activist of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity, a national platform of tribal and forest dweller mass organisations struggling for the rights of forest communities. He has written on forest policy, tribal rights, law, development, communalism, Special Economic Zones and neoliberal economic policies. His academic training is in development studies and mathematics.
(1) The reasons why such a formation does not exist is not something I am going into here. There is a partial discussion on this issue in Gopalakrishnan 2008.
(2) Please see Gopalakrishnan 2006 for more discussion on this aspect.
(3) This area is discussed more in Gopalakrishnan 2008.
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